Interview: Georgios Siligardakis, CEO of Welcome Holidays
"We are very proud of our established network and are focused now on our further expansion of creating a larger and stronger distribution channel and this is where TravelgateX will help".
Georgios Siligardakis is the CEO of Welcome Holidays. In this personal interview, he highlights the main internal and external changes of his company after the Covid-19 pandemic. It sums us up that for the travel industry there is definitely an opportunity for creative partnerships and digital access should be seen as a useful function.
Has the crisis motivated Welcome Holidays to make internal or external changes?
Like so many others within the industry, Covid-19 made such an impact to our business that it was vital to make changes both internally and externally, thankfully the majority only being short term. Focusing on 2021 become a much earlier priority than previous seasons, our product department were able to negotiate contracts for the following season and build a strong 2021 portfolio.
Being a digital-first brand although not a new concept, we fully appreciate now is an absolutely critically important one, we are taking additional steps by creating immersive experiences entirely online. Our ‘new normal’ means we follow all obligations and make sure our customers and staff are our number one priority.
What is your growth strategy post COVID-19 and how is TravelgateX going to help you?
Our growth strategy on confirmed bookings has been over 50% of the actual bookings received within the same period of 2019 before Covid-19 and the restrictions imposed.
We are very proud of our established network and are focused now on our further expansion of creating a larger and stronger distribution channel and this is where TravelgateX will help.
TravelgateX will assist us on promoting our direct contracts to additional networks and help new potential partners and buyers to enjoy competitive rates from a variety of accommodation types.
How did you come to work with TravelgateX?
We are always forward thinking and trying to be one step ahead of developing market trends, allowing our clients and partners to enjoy new programs and services first-hand. Through researching which network provides the best results and also recommendations from existing partners, we could see that TravelgateX was a company which ticked all the boxes, and we are very much looking forward to our collaboration together.
With regard to partners in our platform, what destinations are interesting for Welcome Holidays?
Our portfolio expands throughout Mainland Greece and the Greek Islands selling over 500 properties to all international markets, we have an interest within Spain, Italy and Turkey.
In your personal point of view, what would you say has been the biggest lesson learned from this crisis?
Crisis management is a whole concept on its own, but we definitely need earlier warning signs for any future crises which potentially could impact the tourism industry as Covid-19 has. In times of crisis, it really does illuminate what is most important in our lives and what negatives shouldn’t be wasted precious time and energy on.
What do you think are some of the biggest opportunities that may come from this time for your sector? For the travel industry?
There is definitely an opportunity for creative partnerships and digital access must be seen as a utility function. The digital economy needs to be embraced by all as it is the only way forward and can create a better working world.
What is a crazy or out-of-the-box product or technology that you would personally like to see attempted for the travel industry?
That’s good question! I would like to see any project that has any involvement with augmented reality or virtual reality, within the travel world it’s a trend which opens up all the possibilities the country, attractions, hotels etc. have to offer.